Newspaper Articles from different sources
It’s not easy being green as O’Sheas on the Strip closes to make room for Linq project
By Jackie Valley (contact) Jackie Valley
Monday, April 30, 2012 | 2:01 a.m.
The notes scrawled on a wall at O’Sheas read more like goodbye messages to an old friend rather than to a casino known for $5 blackjack, beer pong and Lucky the Leprechaun.
There was the simple: “Thanks for good times.”
And the sentimental: “We opened you in 1989 … and closed you in 2012.”
Many more conveyed hints of sadness, with variations of “You’ll be missed.”
Shortly before noon Sunday, early by Las Vegas standards, patrons wandered into the soon-to-be-shuttered casino for a final round of beer pong, poker or shots. The casino closes at noon Monday and will reopen next year in a new location.
Among those reminiscing was Doug Stowell from Chicago, visiting with his wife, Jackie. In 1992, he won his first jackpot at O’Sheas — $1,700 for hitting a royal flush on quarter poker.
“We just wanted to come in and say goodbye,” he said. “It’s like seeing an old friend go.”
In the background, workers dismantled a Subway in the food court. Across the way, locals and tourists alike flocked to the memorial wall, which will be salvaged and placed in the new O’Sheas.
“I have had many nights I don’t remember from O’Sheas,” said Steve Van Holten, who grew up in Las Vegas before he moved to Arizona with his wife. “Awesome place.”
Passionate patrons helped O’Sheas earn a spot in the $500 million Linq project, said Rick Mazer, regional president for Caesars Entertainment. He oversees Harrah’s, Imperial Palace, Flamingo, Bill’s Gamblin’ Hall and Saloon and O’Sheas. The Linq project, set to open next year, is a retail and entertainment corridor between Flamingo and Imperial Palace.
“You don’t have to worry about if you’re dressed right, if you’re betting enough,” he said, explaining the casino’s appeal. “It’s such a relaxed place.”
The new O’Sheas will sit a little farther east in the entertainment alley and feature a mix of old favorites: table games, live music, bars and, last but not least, beer pong, Mazer said. (For those who can’t wait, Bill’s Gamblin’ Hall and Saloon will house the college drinking game in the meantime.)
“They are the core experience of today’s O’Sheas,” he said. “They will be part of the new O’Sheas.”
As Strip-dwellers awoke from overnight festivities, Lucky the Leprechaun — the O’Sheas longtime icon whose real name is Brian Thomas — beckoned to them from the casino’s doors on Las Vegas Boulevard.
Dressed in his signature green ensemble, Thomas’ booming voice announced the 24-hour happy hour. Minutes earlier, he had poured free shots into the mouths of celebrating patrons from atop a bar.
“It’s real people having real fun,” Thomas said of the casino, where he has worked for seven years. “You don’t need a billion-dollar casino to have a great time.”
He’s had fans find him on Facebook and Twitter. On Saturday, a particularly nostalgic patron chiseled a brick from the casino’s exterior and asked for his autograph.
“It’s like one big family of 2 million people I’ve seen,” he said. “I don’t know another place on the Strip that is like this. Maybe some people should take some notes.”
Fans won’t have to look far to find him after O’Sheas temporarily closes, though. Thomas said he has signed on to work for Caesars Entertainment’s food and beverage department, with gigs lined up at the Flamingo pool, Bill’s Gamblin’ Hall and Saloon and Carnaval Court at Harrah’s.
Until then, he’s feeling like most patrons who popped in to say goodbye to their beloved, down-to-earth casino.
“I’m going to miss this place,” Thomas said. “I wouldn’t be surprised if I dropped a tear at noon tomorrow.”
Roads being closed for O’Sheas garage implosion
By Delen Goldberg (contact)
Monday, April 30, 2012 | 2:20 p.m.
O’Sheas is going out with a bang. Literally.
The 23-year-old Strip staple, famous for its beer pong and low-bet tables, closed its doors at noon today. Tomorrow morning, its 7-story parking garage will be imploded.
Caesars Entertainment shuttered the Irish-themed casino and is demolishing its garage to make way for the Linq project, a $500-million outdoor restaurant and entertainment district with an observation wheel centerpiece.
The 325,000-square-foot promenade will replace an alley between O’Sheas and the Flamingo, directly across the street from the company’s flagship, Caesars Palace.
Signs and barricades will be set up near the implosion site at 1 a.m. Tuesday. Surrounding streets will close to pedestrians and cars starting 2 a.m. Both Caesars and Clark County officials are discouraging people from trying to watch the implosion, citing safety concerns.
The county expects to reopen the streets about 6 a.m., depending on the scope of the cleanup and how far dust and debris scatters.
The closures include:
• The northbound and southbound lanes of Las Vegas Boulevard from Flamingo Road to the Mirage
• Winnick Avenue behind Imperial Palace
• Audrie Street behind Imperial Palace and the Flamingo
A version of O’Sheas is scheduled to open in a new location in the Linq project in 2013. An official groundbreaking for the project is planned for later this year.
Favorito plays no favorites
By Jerry Fink
Monday, Feb. 20, 2006 | 12:32 p.m.
Insult comic Vinnie Favorito may have struck out in "Benny's Bullpen," but he's hitting home runs at O'Sheas.
Actually it isn't Favorito's fault that his show at Binion's ended up closing.
In 2004 Harrah's bought the downtown venue, a move to acquire the World Series of Poker from the Binion organization, and then sold the property to West Virginia-based MTR Gaming Group.
Under the agreement, Harrah's would manage the property for a year.
One of Harrah's bold moves was to make a 400-seat showroom out of the space where the World Series of Poker used to be held - dubbed "Benny's Bullpen" for the late founder Benny Binion.
In its more than 50-year history, Binion's had never engaged a headliner.
Favorito, compared to Don Rickles, only more vicious, was the first.
Initially, he said he did well, bringing in more than 200 fans a night.
But when Harrah's pulled out of downtown, Favorito says his numbers drastically dropped.
And so in December he moved to O'Sheas, another Harrah's-owned property.
He should do well in the 170-seat theater. It is an intimate room, which is the kind of venue that serves him best - allowing him to interact with fans in a way that can be devastatingly funny.
When you leave a Favorito performance your jaws ache from laughter. Your side hurts. You feel drained.
That's how I felt when I left the theater recently, and it wasn't even his best night.
Favorito pulls no punches - he insults every race, every nationality, every sex. Anything that can be insulted, he will find the soft spot and drill into it like a maniacal dentist.
"Are there any Mexicans here?" he says.
From there, the humor spins out of control.
He scans the room like a big game hunter, zeroing in on targets throughout the audience.
"What are you?" he says to a couple in the front row. "Native Americans? No (expletive deleted). Well, you're (expletive deleted) Mexicans now. What's your name? Cliff? It's not like, 'Falling-Off-the-Cliff?' "
He takes on a firefighter, an engineer, a salesman for the telephone book's advertising pages and a dozen other fans who laugh as hard at the humor derived at their own expense as those sitting around them, tears rolling down their cheeks.
This is a show for adults who can leave their political correctness at home. Check your uptight attitudes at the door of this small, second-floor showroom, and you will have a memorable evening.